Tag: budgetting

87 Year Old Woman Dies After Developing Hypothermia

A 87 year old woman died after developing hypothermia at home after expressing concerns that she was worried about paying her energy bills.  

Barbara Bolton, 87, had previously told relatives she had felt cold after they had visited her at her home in Bury to check on her wellbeing. Sadly as a result she was rushed to Fairfield hospital where she was then diagnosed with hypothermia.

However despite the good care given by NHS medical professionals, her condition sadly deteriorated and as a result of her worsening condition she sadly died several weeks later.

Therefore an inquest into her death was opened at Rochdale Coroner’s Court, details can be found here.

Hospital notes given to the inquest indicate that her illness and subsequent death was linked to the fact she couldn’t afford to put her heating on.

Her son, Mark Bolton, 61, said his “proud” mum had refused his offer to help to pay her power bills as reported in the Mirror. She had been heating her home by using a single gas fire in her living room and used portable electric heaters to warm the rest of her two-bedroom house.

Ms Bolton had previously worked as a pharmacy assistant at her local Tesco until the age of 82 and she had lived at her home on Dawson Street in Bury for several decades.

Her son Mark told the inquest that he spoke to his mum every night and that she had told him that she was worried about her heating bills, despite assurances from him that he would cover the costs.

Mark said “She was concerned about all her bills because she was a pensioner. She was careful, she was mindful of the prices and worried about them going up,” he said.

Mark told the coroner that he had always told her to ‘just keep your heating on’ and ‘don’t worry about the bills mum.’ “But she was very stubborn and proud about paying her own way,” he said.

He told the hearing that his mum had ‘felt cold’ when she was found sat at her kitchen table by one of her grandchildren, who had gone round after the family had not been able to contact her.

Police coroner’s officer Jane Scullion told the hearing: “Barbara was admitted to hospital on December 11, 2022, with hypothermia, and a chest infection.

“During that time she continued to deteriorate. After a discussion, she was placed on end of life care and passed away.”

Assistant coroner for Manchester North Julie Mitchel adjourned the inquest and has requested statements from her doctor and asked for a medical cause of death to be provided.

“Her death was particularly accelerated by hypothermia and there is a possibility of self-neglect due to the lack of heating so her death has been referred to the coroner,” she said.

Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to very cold temperatures and requires immediate medical intervention. Causes include not wearing warm clothes in winter, falling into cold water and living in a cold house.

Sadly I fear that her death caused by living in a cold house isn’t the first and will certainly not be the last. Thousands if not more people are being forced by an uncaring, cruel government to live in cold and in many cases, damp houses as a result of the ever increasing energy costs.

For those saying that she should have jut accepted the help offered, it isn’t always as easy for various reasons. Admitting that you’re poor and can’t afford to heat your home is a very difficult thing to have to admit, and as a parent this can be even harder.

Society deems that parents should look after their children and not the other way round, and asking your children for help can make a parent feel like an absolute failure, and she wouldn’t have made her decision lightly.

This nightmare isn’t going to end soon, I wish it was.The reality is that thousands, including myself are counting down the days until spring arrives and warmer weather returns, it can’t come a minute too soon.

The government has absolutely no intention of changing things for the better, they prefer to spend their time trying to cover up senior ministers deception and lies rather than help those in need.

It’s one rule for them and one for us and the death of Ms Bolton and others won’t bother them in the slightest.

I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and to say it’s a struggle is an understatement..

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I’m struggling to pay my internet bill which is due in a few days and keep myself warm like so many of you are too.

Every penny will be put to good use to enable me to fight the good fight for much longer.

Thank you for your support and a huge thank you to everyone that shares and reads my blog posts

PIP Appeal Rates Rise By 119%

It has recently been revealed by Benefits And Work that PIP (Personal Independence Payments) appeal figures have risen by 119% in 2022, this is compared to the same quarter in 2021.

The rate of UC (Universal Credit) appeals has also risen by 28% the latest official figures show.

The number of cases that were dealt increased by only 18% in the same time period compared to figures from 2021.


Figures show that there were 63,000 outstanding cases by the end of September 2021 which adds to an annual increase of 96%.



The average wait time for an appeal averaged at 31 weeks. This shows that it is 8 weeks down from 2021 figures , but is likely to increase over the coming quarters as the backlog rises inexorably.

The success rate for PIP appeals remains unchanged at 68%. This shows that the vast majority of those who appeal are correct in their decision to appeal however the wait time for appeals to be heard continues to rise.



For UC claimants it is revealed that the appeal success rates are now at 49% which is an increase of 7% on the previous year.

DLA (Disability Living Allowance) success rates are now at 61% which is down 6%.

Meanwhile ESA (Employment and Support Allowance success rates are now 53%, down on the previous year at 1%

Appealing against any DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) decision is always daunting and extremely stressful. Not only is the appeal process hard to navigate, the waiting times for appeals and tribunals to be heard is increasing.

The success rate shows that those making the decision to appeal have made the right decision in doing so.

Sadly many people that are entitled to appeal fail to do so because they can’t afford to wait a long time for their appeal to be heard and also can’t cope with the stress involved, many having no support network to rely upon.

I don’t need to tell you that the downright discrimination and hatred given to disabled and unemployed people is totally unfair and discriminatory.

This cruelty combined with the increasing cost of living and energy prices is making life extremely difficult for those that are most in need of financial help.

In an ideal world this wouldn’t be happening at all but there won’t be any positive changes made to the system whilst there’s a Tory government in power.

The conservative party is doing what they do best, punishing the most vulnerable and poor for their very existence, they need to be stopped and soon before more people suffer and die as a result of their actions.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

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Thank you!

Autumn Budget Benefit Increases.

British Pound Drops To All Time Low Against The Dollar

Energy Price Increases- How Are Pre-Payment Customers Going To Pay?

Annual energy bills are predicted to increase more £4,200 from January 2023. This will undoubtably cause extreme hardship on an enormous scale.

So far without a fully functioning government, Johnson, his ministers and prospective prime minister candidates are refusing to meet to discuss and implement a strategy and further government financial without government intervention.

No further government assistance offered.

Instead of meeting to discuss further plans and financial help conservative ministers are on holiday blissful in their knowledge that without intervention their actions will cause unseen suffering and worse.

Further price increases.

The consultancy Cornwall Insight have already predicted that energy price caps are expected to reach £4,266 a year for the first three months of 2023.

They also predict that energy bills could rise to £4,426 in April before eventually easing.

Also predicted a week ago by the consultancy the energy price cap was expected to rise to £3,600 a year from January 2023.

It is now predicted that the energy cap will increase to £3,582 from October, an increase of £200 on its last forecast. It expects bills to begin easing next summer, to £3,810 in the third quarter and then £3,781 in the final three months of next year.

Compared to the price cap in October 2021 which was£1,400 a year, these price increases are obscene and totally avoidable.

People can’t afford to pay.

The reality is that there are already thousands of people that were already unable to meet every day household expenses, many of which are living in substandard housing, are homeless and living in temporary accommodation or renting a room or property at already extortionate prices.

There’s absolutely no way that anyone living in this situation will be able to cut costs anywhere to be able to pay for energy on top of food costs.

Whilst the idea of the don’t pay campaigns that have been created is on paper a good idea in real life it’s more complicated than that.

The problem with pre-payment meters.

Most people forced to live on extremely low incomes are already tied into pre-payment meters provided by the energy companies.

As well as having to automatically pay a daily standing charge they don’t have the option not to pay or to default on payments.

To put it simply if they don’t pay their energy supplies are cut off leaving them unable to heat and light their homes and to have any quality of life at all.

For those that pay their bills by direct debit, defaulting on their payments could affect their credit rating even if they pay a reduced amount.

Energy companies could also class them as bad payers and this could result in obtaining credit extremely hard.

It’s going to be a cold winter.

What on earth are people reliant upon pre payment meters going to do? They can’t magic money out of nowhere like the government does when they want to give tax breaks to their pals.

Their only option will be to use coats, bedding and just about anything they can find to keep warm whilst putting their health at risk.

Not forgetting that most people claiming social security will already be receiving a reduced amount due to various debts being garnished from their payments and benefit sanctions.

The poorest cannot be ignored anymore.

Alongside other campaigns the plight of the poorest and most vulnerable needs to be prioritized and help needs to be offered to everyone that require assistance.

Warm banks aren’t the answer nor is finding a warm spot to sit all day. It’s totally unrealistic to believe that this is the answer. At the very best they’re a sticking plaster that keeps falling off.

Government payments.

Everyone dependent on a low income is already well aware that the payments promised by the government offer little help when compared to the actual increase in energy and cost of living increases.

For these payments to realistically help they now need to increase dramatically for it to even start to chip away at the damage caused by the ever increasing energy costs.

The poorest are already suffering.

Food Banks are already experiencing a downturn in donations, some of them having no food and unable to offer any help to people dependant upon them.

There is also an ever increasing amount of people unable to afford to travel to food banks. For various reasons including and exceeding disability, illness and public transport costs they’re unable to collect desperately needed food. At the same time charities and organisations are unable to offer any kind of delivery service.

Their plight will be ignored

I suspect that the plight of the poorest will be ignored by those in power. After all their more concerned with punishing the poor than helping everyone that needs their assistance and correcting their mistakes.

The UK is a broken country, a ticking time bomb ready to explode. The only thing we do know is that the government won’t be there to pick up the pieces.

They don’t care they never have.

We must continue to press the government to reduce the obscene energy increases.

Instead of settling for ideas such as warm banks we need to make our voices heard.

It’s totally unacceptable that people are going to be forced into such extreme poverty that many may not survive the cold, harsh winter.

It really doesn’t have to be this way.

Please share my blog it really helps to raise awareness and shows solidarity to those suffering at the hands of this cruel government.

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Every penny helps me to continue with both.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I really appreciate it and I couldn’t do it without you.

Coffey Refuses To Disclose Nine Secret DWP Reports.

Work and pensions secretary Therese Coffey has once again remained silent about nine Department of Work and Pension (DWP) reports during a grilling by the Work and Pensions Committee..

Not only did she remain silent she added another report that she failed to disclose along with the previous nine.

This is despite the Work and Pensions Committee requesting that the information in the reports should have been posted as far back as 2017.

The reports contain information concerning DWP sanctions, claimant deaths and how people are coping with being transferred to Universal Credit (UC)



The committee did however state that they would like to discuss the matter further at another meeting on Wednesday 29 June.

They however made the huge error of giving Coffey until the 15 July to reply to their request.


Instead of answering the committee’s questions Coffey refused to do so in person saying that she would respond to the questions in her response to their letter by letter.


However during the meeting Coffey declared that the DWP have also got a secret plan to help claimants who fail to complete the managed migration process within the time limit given.


Coffey went on to say “I have added a policy that I would rather talk to you privately about, because I do not want to deter people from responding to our requests to migrate.”

As we already know her words are useless until any information about the supposed policy unless it is in public knowledge and is being acted upon.

Secret polices could well include ignoring a claimants legal rights and how would they be able to appeal decisions if the policy is indeed secret?

This could give way to yet more DWP cruelty met upon vulnerable claimants that are already struggling financially.

Only time will tell as to what will happen. The committee needs to request the publishing of the reports as a matter of great urgency and not rely upon Coffey being honest and open about the information that she has.

I do know one thing though. The reports could contain some very damaging information about the suffering and deaths of vulnerable claimants.

This could be the reason why she’s continuing to hold back the information.



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Poor People Can’t Cook Says Lee Anderson MP

Lee Anderson Tory MP for Ashfield claimed that households in Britain can make nutritious meals on a budget of about 30p a day. He made these crass remarks during the queens speech debate in parliament.

He went on to say that his constituency administer a so called “brilliant scheme” where members of the public needing food donations have to register to join and are forced to attend mandatory budget cookery courses along side receiving food parcels.

Anderson claims that the scheme shows them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget and they can learn how to make a meal for about 30p a day, and this is cooking from scratch.

Mr Anderson went on to say that there’s not a massive use for food banks in the Uk despite record numbers of people being forced to use food banks every day. They can no longer afford to buy food and are having to make this humiliating decision.

According to Anderson poor people come from families that have generations of people from families that cannot cook properly. He went on to say that “They can’t cook a meal from scratch. They cannot budget. The challenge is there.”

Ironically this is coming from Tory MP Lee Anderson that himself claimed £220,000 in expenses last year. Maybe he should attend budgeting classes.

Andersons comments are very telling, they highlight exactly how the Conservative party,MPs, councillors and members regard the working class, in particular people that are forced to take the distressing step to use food banks.

The truth is not being able to cook runs right through the class divide, people that live very comfortable lives don’t know how to cook properly also even though they’ve got the resources to do so. Should they be forced to attend mandatory cooking lessons as well?

Most people forced to live in poverty are very good at budgeting the very little money they receive, trying to prioritising their families need for food above their own. They know exactly how much their food costs and how to work within their budget.

The real problem lies within parliament, decisions have been made that have seen energy prices soar massively with food costs increasing dramatically resulting the cost of living being unattainable for many.

Benefit payments haven’t increased with inflation nor have wages leaving the public already starting at a loss before they even start trying to budget.

The truth is working class people are masters of budgeting, they know how to account for every penny and do prioritise their basic needs. Being able to cook however doesn’t lie with the ability to cook good meals it goes beyond that. As energy prices have increased its becoming exceedingly difficult to be able to afford the gas and electric needed to do so, a point that Mr Anderson fails to mention.

For this very reason thousands of people are forced to eat cold food such as sandwiches or having to make the decision as to if its cheaper to buy ready made food that isn’t necessarily healthy but it’s cheaper than the cost of cooking a meal.

Doing this exposes them to judgement from others and often abuse on social media, after all its easier to make a scapegoat out of poor people than it is to criticise a financially well off person.

The right wing press relish in shaming working class people rather than the policies that the government creates that are the cause of food bank use. It’s also easy for them to celebrate the opening of food banks, and laugh about it when, like Mr Anderson you don’t worry about the need for them.

In reality food bank donations are decreasing because many of the people donating can no longer afford to do so. I predict hundreds of much needed food banks being forced to close leaving the people needing them without the food that they desperately need. No amount of budgeting can change this.

Mr Anderson and his kind can take their prejudiced attitudes and fuck right off. The opening of food banks should never be celebrated its sick, crass and humiliating for the uk as a whole.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog its extremely important that the truth of life under the Tory government gets out there. It raises awareness and we need this more than ever.

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